A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

The Alphabet XIs: M

Posted on March 1, 2012 by in Opinion

Since when was the alphabet so long? Here we at M and we are only halfway there. We’ll be honest here: we’re salivating at the thought of this bowling attack, which would surely bowl out any side within a matter of hours. The batting combines solidity with style and accordingly we can find no space for either of the 51allout poster boys Martin McCague and Shuan Marsh.


  1. Arthur Morris (Australia 1946-1955) 46 Tests 3533 runs @ 46.48 A stylish left-hander who was a member of the Invincibles and in 2000 was chosen as part of the Australian Cricket Board’s Team of the Century.
  2. Hanif Mohammad (Pakistan 1952-1969) 55 Tests 3915 runs @ 43.98 Apparently the inventor of the reverse sweep, but don’t hold that against him; he’s also the scorer of two of the most famous innings of all-time. His 499 (run out) remained the highest score in first-class cricket for 35 years, his 337 in 970 minutes against the West Indies remains the longest Test innings.
  3. *Peter May (England 1951-1961) 66 Tests 4537 runs @ 46.77 Possibly the most classically elegant batsman of his generation, May captained England in 41 matches, winning 20. 
  4. Javed Miandad (Pakistan 1976-1993) 124 Tests 8832 runs @ 52.27 Miandad was a fantastic player who was central to the Pakistan side for almost twenty years. He had plenty of shots, both textbook and unorthodox, and never once did his Test average drop below 50.00.
  5. Stan McCabe (Australia 1930-1938) 39 Tests 2748 runs @ 48.21, 36 wickets @ 42.86 A great player of fast bowling, McCabe’s career highlights include a run-per-minute 232 at Nottingham and 187 (out of 360) at Sydney against Harold Larwood and Bill Voce at their most fiery.
  6. Keith Miller (Australia 1946-1956) 55 Tests 2958 runs @ 36.97, 170 wickets @ 22.97 Possibly the best all-round cricketer until Garry Sobers came along, Miller was a superb new ball bowler and a splendid batsman. Described by Neville Cardus as “the Australian in excelsis.”
  7. +Rodney Marsh (Australia 1970-1984) 96 Tests 3633 runs @ 26.51, 343 catches, 12 stumpings Although maligned at the start of his career (nicknamed Iron Gloves by the media), by his retirement he was a world record holder. Over a quarter of his dismissals were from the bowling of Dennis Lillee. Good enough with the bat to score three hundreds.
  8. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies 1978-1991) 81 Tests 1810 runs @ 18.85, 376 wickets @ 20.94 With a tip-toeing run-up from somewhere near mid-off, the 5’11” Marshall didn’t look particularly threatening. But his bowling arm was lightning quick and he combined swing (either direction), cutters and skiddy bouncers to incredible effect. Sadly died from cancer at the age of only 41.
  9. Craig McDermott (Australia 1984-1996) 71 Tests 940 runs @ 12.20, 291 wickets @ 28.63 Spanning the period between Lillee and Glenn McGrath, McDermott was -on his day (usually against England)- an aggressive fast bowler with a classical outswinger in his armoury. Although his career was hindered by regular injuries, his record still stands comparable with other very good bowlers of the late twentieth century.
  10. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka 1992-2010) 133 Tests 1256 runs @ 11.67, 800 wickets @ 22.72 An incredible bowler: an off-spinning wrist spinner who would bowl seemingly forever. That he took 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-fors is evidence of his ability, stamina and nous.
  11. Glenn McGrath (Australia 1993-2007) 124 Tests 641 runs @ 7.36, 563 wickets @ 21.64 A tall, naggingly-accurate and occasionally hostile fast bowler who tormented batsmen with his unremitting line and length. His spell as the world’s best fast bowler was more or less contemporaneous with Australia’s tenure as the world’s best team.



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01 Mar 2012 22:14

SA’s involvement at the 92 WC is what piqued my interest in cricket. Malcolm Marshall playing for (what was then) Natal is what got me hooked. I’m forever grateful for that.